Daily Archives: July 13, 2009

As France prepares to celebrate le quatorze juillet, here’s the latest:

The Wall Street Journal outright blames French consumers for Europe’s sluggishness. “The French are getting thriftier, and that poses a problem for the European economy,” it says. Read more

Tony Barber

The great thing about blogging is that you learn something new almost every day.  This morning, while preparing a blog on the European Union’s foreign policy, I have learnt the French expression avaler des couleuvres, which translates literally as “to swallow grass snakes” and means “to believe anything you’re told”.

What a magnificent idiom!  I came across it in the widely followed Coulisses de Bruxelles blog of Jean Quatremer, the Brussels correspondent of the French daily Libération.  Quatremer was writing about Javier Solana’s decision to give up his job as the EU’s foreign policy high representative, a post he has held since 1999. Read more